The pinnacle of eco-luxe, African Botanics occupies its own space within the beauty market. Luxe without being ostentatious, the products are just at home at Net-a-porter, next to Gucci and Prada, as they are at CAP Beauty, the premium New York destination for all things green beauty.

I met the founders Julia and Craig about a year ago, when they were in Melbourne to launch African Botanics at Mecca Cosmetica (Australia’s answer to SpaceNK or Sephora). Coincidentally, they were staying at a hotel close to me, and without much planning, we caught up for brunch. We bonded instantly, and much to the boredom of their kids, spent a lot of time checking out skincare and fragrances at my local Mecca store. I was so pleased to learn that the people behind one of my favourite brands were just as amazing as the products they made. We share many common interests, and they’ve become some of my favourite people in the beauty industry.

In this ‘Behind the Brand’ feature, I have a conversation with Julia (with input from Craig) about the brand they created as a love letter to South Africa, where they are both originally from.

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I think many of you already know that African Botanics is one of my favourite skincare brands. I love the way they combine rare botanical extracts with the latest in biotechnology to create truly unique (and effective) products. They have been busy creating new products, and here are my thoughts on three of their newest creations.

Rose Treatment Essence: This is easily my favourite product of the trio. According to their press release, ‘the powerful combination of bioactive medicinal plants, botanical emollients, peptides, humectants, B vitamins, oligosaccharides, yeast beta-glucan and collagen boosters deliver vitality and nutrients deep into the skin.’ The concentrated formula is designed to tighten pores and restore moisture levels while brightening, refining, hydrating and rebalancing skin’s pH levels. View Post

I love face oils, but until recently, I used them only at night. I have oily, acne-prone skin, and I always found oils too heavy for daytime use. I don’t know if my skin has become less oily over the years, but lately, I’ve been loving adding oils to my morning routines. We are approaching winter here in Melbourne, and a few drops of a light day oil (on top of a water-based hydrating serum) keeps my skin soft and glowing all day long.

My selections below are all light and non-greasy, and they would work equally well as picks for spring/summer (in case you live in the northern hemisphere and are approaching summer, lucky you!). Most of my selections below will suit most skin types, including oily and acne-prone. View Post

If you’ve followed me long enough, you’ll know that African Botanics is one of my all-time favourite brands. It’s one of the only brands that has consistently wowed me. Sure, there are some products I love more than others, but overall, I haven’t disliked anything I’ve tried from the brand so far. I know the brand founders personally, and I love how they work closely with local African communities and high-tech labs to create products that marry the purest ingredients with the latest skincare technologies. I’ve used all of these products for a fairly long time (4 months plus), and here are my thoughts: View Post

Skin saviours from my recent Indian trip. 

I got back from India 3 days ago, but I’ve been terribly jetlagged. My main issue is trying to fall asleep. I slept at 6:30am the first night, and while my sleep patterns are slowly returning back to normal (I managed to sleep at 3am last night), I still feel really lethargic. Also, I’m rarely hungry. I don’t usually get jetlagged so bad, I wonder if it’s just a sign that I’m getting old!

I’ve been spending a lot of time thinking about the trip. Like all family reunions, there were lots of great moments and some awkward ones. I spent most of my time at my parents’ place in Kerala, South India. I grew up in Kerala, but I’d never really realised how vibrant the landscape was until I left Kerala. There are endless rows of coconut trees that cover the landscape in a blanket of green. The deep red of the soil stains everything it touches, and it is a contrast against the bright green paddy fields, which, in some places, seem to stretch forever. View Post